World's Wackiest Souvenirs
Postcards may be last-decade, but at least they're normal. Travelers have begun to embrace a new crop of souvenirs to bring home from their vacations, gifts that truly tell the story of their journey — and we're not talking ships in a bottle. From snake whiskey in Thailand to 3-dollar bills in Papa, New Guinea, odd souvenirs are becoming extremely popular, representing destinations in a most not-so-boring way.
We rounded up some of the world's most bizarre souvenirs that are humorous, eyebrow-raising and, quite often, stomach-churning. Nonetheless, they're all guaranteed to make any recipient remember exactly where they came from.
For centuries, according to traditional Chinese medicine, whiskey infused with these little creatures have been used to treat back and muscle pain and to reinvigorate a person. Further, until recently, the elixir was said to be an aphrodisiac. The exotic bottles often come packed with ginseng root or other herbs, and rice wine or grain alcohol has also been the liquor of choice. A 250-ml bottle costs around $10 and can be found in Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia.
Stuffed Cane Toad
All over the state in various markets you can find cane-toad taxidermy, with the toads featured in silly and various poses such as with a cricket bat, travel bag or beer in hand. Each cost approximately $25, and cane toads also come as backscratchers and bottle openers thanks to taxidermist Kevin Byrnes. And as a bonus, cane toads remain an issue, so buying a toad theoretically helps save Queensland!
The Baby Cry Analyzer -- a gadget that determines why your baby is crying, hungry, sad, annoyed, etc. -- almost took the cake, but the most bizarre souvenir goes to the Tuttuki Bako. This "poking box” launched in 2008 as an interactive game: You stick your finger in the box hole and a digital representation appears on the screen imitating your finger motion. Other games are included, like terrorizing a tiny stick man or poking a girl in the face. The toy is around $30 and truly bizarre. But oh so Japanese.
The only store in historic downtown to sell real alligator heads works with the state's only certified trapper, Trapper Jack, to provide cast-plastered alligator heads for the home (rest assured, there's no poaching involved with their stock). The majority of the customers, surprisingly, are affluent women. According to 24e owner Ruel Joyner, there's a movement with organic things like taxidermy, skulls and bones coming into modern and traditional places. Prices start at $60, depending on the size, and the store sells 12-foot gator heads, which is a rarity.
Elephant Dung Coffee
The coffee blend Black Ivory is sold at their four Maldives properties and the Anantara Golden Triangle in Thailand (where the elephant camp is located). Expect to pay about $50 for two cups! Travelers are purchasing the 35-gram packet to bring home as a souvenir for $35. That's still an expensive shot of eleph-espresso, but you’ll never taste coffee the same way again.